re: High light without CO2

>From: krandall at world_std.com (Karen A Randall)
>Date: Mon, 28 Aug 1995 18:23:47 -0400
>Subject: Re: High Light, Nutrient Diffusion and Plenum
>Subject: re: High light without CO2 
>> >> Karen, are you saying that you *need* CO2 and and trace elements to
>> >> keep a tank in balance if you have high light?  
>> >
>> >What I'm saying is that you *need* to balance the light in the tank with
>> >adequate amounts of CO2 and trace elements.  If you can do this without 
>> >artificial supplementation, that's terrific... but it's a difficult 
>> >balancing act that most people can't achieve.
>> I'll take that as a yes :-).
>It most emphatically was _not_ a "yes", it was a "maybe".

OK, I'm happy with that.  I read something stronger than "maybe" into
"it's a difficult balancing act most people can't achieve".

>> There are people on this list who say that low-tech tanks, period, are
>> an exercise in futility. 
>This is clearly nonsense. People have been growing aquatic plants for 
>decades without "high tech" equipment.  

I meant to say that *some* people have consistently failed (by their
own standards, obviously) with low-tech setups.  I did not mean to say
that *all* people fail.

>>Most newcomers to the aquatic gardening area will probably agree, at least 
>>for a year or so.  
>Why? I've started several new hobbyists out with low-tech planted tanks.  
>They have _all_ been successful.  Heck, I started out with low tech tanks, 
>and had at least moderate success with my plants with _none_ of the 
>knowledge I have now, and no one to turn to for help.  We all have to start 

I hereby conclude that you have moderately good water :-).  But
seriously, it's difficult for a newcomer to find a good variety of
plants and to get good advice on their culture. Pet stores are not
much help, either.  On top of that, it takes time to determine which
plants do well and to learn good aquascaping.

>>You seem to be saying that low-tech tanks are possible, but that you are 
>>best off sticking with low light and slow-growing plants.
>No.  Again, I maintain that light, CO2, trace elements, stocking levels and 
>maintenance must be *IN BALANCE* to have a successful planted tank.  _THEN_, 
>based on your lighting levels, you make an educated guess on what will work 
>in your tank, and go from there.

[Also, explanations of why my high-light tanks seem to work deleted.
Some are right on the money, some are not, but I think going into that
area detracts from the point I'm trying to make.  If anyone is
interested, email me.]

>> In short, I'd say if someone wants high light in a low-tech setup,
>> it's worth a try.
>In long<g>  I'd say that if people want to start with an educated guess, 
>rather than re-inventing the wheel every time they set up a tank, they need 
>to understand the CONCEPT of balance, as well as keeping an open mind to the 
>fact that there are a number of ways, and a number of LEVELS of achieving 
>that balance. ;-)

I'm not arguing against the need for balance.  I'm also not saying
that you should not take water conditions, lighting, maintenance, the
experience of others in your area, etc. into account when planning
your tank. If you do, you are being foolish.  The question I raised
was just about how hard it is to sustain a low-tech, high-light
aquarium.  In my experience, it's not substantially more difficult
than setting up a low-tech, low-light tank.  Your mileage (and
opinion) may vary.


PS: About why I have 40 watts of lighting over a 10 gallon tank - I'm
trying to figure that out myself :-).
 Shaji Bhaskar,                                             bhaskar at bnr_ca
 BNR, 35 Davis Dr., RTP, NC 27709, USA                      (919) 991 7125